Thanksgiving has arrived! I’m not really ready for it. The last few months are a blur of nothing really important – just busy, busy, busy. I’m thankful for so many things in my life: my family, my friends, my church, my job, my health, the list is really endless.

I love this time of year because the focus is not on what we want, or need or whatever. Instead we are appreciating the gifts we already have been given, things that we sometimes take for granted.

I’m grateful, for instance, that I am not a pilgrim. I don’t like the cold and I’m pretty sure that washing clothes outside would be a nightmare. I’m grateful to have a washing machine and dryer, dishwasher and any other appliance that makes my life easier. Can you imagine trying to do all of this without electricity? I love my electricity, and as we have all been subjected to losing it lately, I’m even more appreciative of refrigerators, freezers and heaters. You know, anything that takes power to run. Although I tried to enjoy the break, and we “camped” inside, I was thrilled when it was turned back on.

I’m grateful for our community spirit; when something happens you can depend on our citizens to help each other, kind of like that first Thanksgiving. We come together and put aside our differences to find a common ground. We help where we can and share what we have. In our modern society, sometimes we forget to look out for our neighbor, and walk on by without seeing that they are hurting or need something. I’m thankful for the reminder to take care of my neighbors, to look out for their smiles, or lack of them. I’ll look at the canned food drives and toy drives a little differently this season. I’m looking for unexpected ways to put a smile on someone’s face and let them know, it’s OK, this, too, will pass, but until it does, I’m here to help, listen or whatever, to help someone get through today. This time of year can be so hard on some, so let’s encourage someone and help lift that burden they carry today.

Here is a wonderful recipe to put on the table this Thanksgiving.

I don’t usually cook for Thanksgiving dinner, but I do enjoy the leftovers so I end up making a small turkey just for that purpose. Here’s my little holiday menu.

Turkey Breast

Mashed potatoes and gravy

Maple sweet potatoes

Bacon and green beans

Broccoli salad

My mom’s homemade cheese rolls

Pumpkin bread

Banana bread

Cranberry orange bread

Pumpkin pie

Pecan pie

Banana Bread

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter

¾ cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Stir in the eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until it is moistened. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool upside down on a wire rack until the bread slides out of the pan.

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